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Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend

With Dr Kiki Morriss

This pose, Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend, or Prasarita Padottanasana, helps to increase flexibility in the back and legs

Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend is a resting pose that increases the flexibility of your legs and back.

The benefits of this pose:

  • Stretches and increases the flexibility of the hamstrings at the back of your legs and the adductor muscles of your inner thighs.
  • stretches your outer ankles.
  • Stretches your gluteus maximus and erector spinae muscles.
  • Lengthens and releases your spine.
  • Relaxes and calms your mind.
  • Can relieve insomnia.

Cautions and modifications:

  • You can try bending your knees if you have lower back or hamstring issues, but practice with caution and consult a professional if necessary.
  • Bring your feet closer together if you have a groin strain.
  • Use blocks under your hands if you are unable to reach the ground.
  • If you have blood pressure issues, consult your doctor before practicing deep forward bends.

Variations:

  • Reach your arms wide and hold onto your ankles. If possible, wrap your middle and index fingers around your big toes.
  • Interlink your fingers behind your back and lift your arms up and over your head.
  • Place your hands on your hips and draw your elbows towards each other.
  • Bring your hands into Reverse Prayer Pose behind your back.
  • If your head comfortably reaches the floor, come into a Tripod Headstand.

MOVING INTO THE POSE

  • Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
  • Step your feet wide apart.
  • Align your feet directly below your wrists
  • Turn your toes slightly inwards.
  • Inhale and place your hands on your hips.
  • Exhale and bend down
  • Place your hands on the floor between your legs, in line with your feet.
  • Lower the crown of your head towards the ground.
Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend

FOCUS YOUR GAZE

  • Your dristi (focal point) is at the tip of your nose or at a fixed point straight ahead of you. Keep your gaze soft.

CREATE A STRONG FOUNDATION

  • Press your feet into the ground to create a firm foundation.
  • Maintain the stability of the pose by not stepping your feet too wide apart.
  • Lift the inner arches of your feet by pressing firmly on the outside edges of your feet.
Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend

POSITION YOUR ARMS AND HANDS

  • Place your hands in line with your feet.
  • Point your elbows back between your legs.
  • Place your forearms at a right angle with the ground.
  • Place your upper arms parallel to the ground.
Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend

FOCUS ON YOUR NECK & SHOULDERS

  • Relax and lengthen your neck.
  • Draw your shoulder blades down your back by contracting the trapezius muscles of your upper back.
  • Lift your shoulders away from your ears and try not to allow them to drop down towards your head.

FOCUS ON YOUR LEGS

  • Stretch and lengthen the hamstring, soleus and gastrocnemius muscles at the back of your legs.
  • Use the quadriceps muscles at the front of your thighs to straighten your knees and lift your kneecaps.

BREATHING IN THE POSE

  • Stay in the pose for 5-10 steady breaths.

COMING OUT OF THE POSE

  • Inhale and stand up slowly.
  • Place your hands on your hips.
  • Return to Mountain Pose (Tadasana).

Doctor Kiki Morriss is a medical doctor, yoga teacher, yoga therapist and founder of Primrose Hill Yoga, where she teaches adults, children and families. Visit: primrosehillyoga.com or instagram.com/kiki.yoga

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